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Several symbols recur throughout Fitzgerald's fine story. The overwhelming symbol that runs throughout the story (beginning with the title) is that of seasons. Winter isn't just a time of literal physical cold; it is a time when Dexter feels "a feeling of profound melancholy." When the story ends, it is essentially winter forever, with the summertime dreams of love gone.
The land is another recurring symbol. Notice how Dexter moves freely across the land early in the story, but realizes at the story's end " The gates were closed." Freedom and access matter deeply to him, and they represent social and emotional realms.
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